November 02, 2014

New season, new style

There was lots of action for Cardinal fans to enjoy at Maples this afternoon, as Stanford defeated Vanguard 105-50.

As promised, the Cardinal is a team of movers and shooters this season.

Cardinal ball movement was crisp, confident and continuous. Pauses to look for a receiver were brief and infrequent. The Cardinal scored 16 assists — six from Brianna, four from Alex, three from Lili, two from Karlie and one from Amber.

Most of the Cardinal's effective shooting took place in the paint, with drives to the basket, layups and put-backs. Three-pointers were not falling for the Cardinal at first, with just two of 12 attempts in the first half. But the long-distance shooting improved as the game went on and ended with a respectable seven of 16 — Karlie made three, Lili made two, Alex and Jasmine each made one.

Lili led all scorers with 25 points, and Karlie was second with 17.

I was most impressed by freshman forward Kaylee Johnson, who clearly knows how to be effective in the paint. She was often in the right place for a rebound or a put-back, and never hesitated to take an opportunity to go for the ball. She led all rebounders with 16, scored 12 points, and stole the ball twice — a stellar beginning to her collegiate career.

Bird (sophomore forward Erica McCall) also played with great confidence in the paint. She scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the other double-double of the day and also blocked two shots.

Almost all the Cardinal contributed to the victory. Freshman Brittany McPhee is the only one who did not play. I assume that she is still nursing her reported "minor foot problem", although she was not wearing a boot.

Th Cardinal's confident and skillful performance today confirmed my expectation that this is going to be a very interesting season.

However, just to keep a 105-50 game in perspective, three Vanguard players were benched with injuries suffered in the past week (including their two tallest players: 6'0" senior forward Nicole Zugasti and 6'3" senior forward/center Melissa Norman).

There is no major media coverage of an exhibition game, but here are game reports and commentary:

The box score and play-by-play,

And a gallery of photos by John Todd (Stanford Photo).

1 comment:

craftsman said...

Enjoyed the new-look WBB team. It'll be great to watch their evolution through the season. One improvement I'd like to see sooner than later would be to get the guards to use their screens better. Seems they regularly allow plenty of room between their dribble path and their screen. If I were setting the screen I'd think I was wasting my time much of the time.